Media has a strong role in forming a positive or negative public opinion. It is important to have a strong relationship with the media because by enhancing your reputation, you’re able to create a trusting relationship between your organization and your target audience. The importance of media relations is to help boost your company’s image while creating a positive relationship with your target audience.
What is media training in public relations?
Media training in public relations is a specially designed form of training that helps prepare you to speak on behalf of your company or organization in the media. You will learn what to expect from journalists and how to predict and respond to controversial questions concisely. Media training will help shape how an organization interacts with the public via multiple media channels. It will also present you with media tools in public relations necessary to achieve objectives. These tools will help you feel more confident and will help you to take control of your interview. The goal is that you leave you feeling prepared for any challenging media questions that may arise during a media interview.
What do you learn in media training?
When speaking to the media, it is common to feel nervous and unprepared. Unfortunately, this may create a lack of confidence that could have a negative impact on how the audience perceives you, your company, or your brand. Often, when unprepared, we may have long-winded answers, or we may use a lot of “um’s” and “like’s”, as we try and scramble to answer a question. This is an issue because a journalist must edit your interview down into sound bites, and it’s up to you, the person being interviewed, to provide them. Media training will help build your confidence by allowing you to practice on camera. In addition, it will give you the chance to watch your interview performance, self-critique and, take the opportunity to adjust non-verbal communication such as like body language, tone of voice and eye contact. Trainers will give you tips on how to prepare for unexpected questions, how to take charge of your interview and what topics, slang or jargon to avoid.
What are the elements of media relations?
Media relations is the relationship an organization has with the press. It is the process of conveying your message to the public by distributing it to sources that will help reach your target audience. A large part is consistent follow up to ensure your information isn’t lost in a sea of media communications journalists receive from numerous sources on a daily basis.
Building strong relationships with media contacts such as journalists, reporters or analysts is crucial to be successful. The following four key elements will teach you how to conduct effective media relations:
1. Relationships. When it comes to media relations, it is all about who you know. Building strong relationships with trusted media outlets is the best way to reach your target audience. This entails following their content and having a strong sense of their work, so you can be relevant. Being accurate, factual and immediately responsive when they need your information, is also important in building media relationships.
2. Tell your story. Make sure you tell your story in a way that the public can connect with you. Have a clear communications objective. Determine key messages needed to achieve it and build your narrative around those. Great storytellers are factual, accurate, and descriptive - adding colour to the story through relatable anecdotes and examples to drive home the key points.
3. Research. Invest time into researching different types of news outlets. Learn about what they cover and who their target audiences are. This will give you the insight needed to decide which contacts should be on your media list and are most appropriate for your news. Reporters love it when you can reference past stories and coverage that relate to your topic. It shows you follow their work and are reaching out with relevant information.
4. Be proactive. Instead of waiting for the media to come to you, contact them. Newsrooms are notoriously short-staffed. Reporters have to develop their stories, interview multiple sources, and usually have to work against aggressive deadlines. They receive hundreds of emails every day from individuals pitching story ideas. In addition to this, reporters are also responsible for adapting their stories for social media content which adds another layer of work. The purpose of public relations is to make their work easier by providing materials that can be easily integrated into news coverage, being available on-demand with any information they require, and being accurate.
What are the six steps in media relations/ spokesperson training?
1. Objectives. Defining your objectives for the interview or media interaction will ensure that you have a clear vision and goal for what you hope to achieve and what you need to do to get there.
2. Goals. Creating goals will help you achieve your objectives. Goals must be S.M.A.R.T in order to be effective:
3. Target audience. This is among the most important aspects of public relations, media relations and communications, in general. You are much more likely to achieve communications objectives when you know who you are talking to and what motivates or concerns them. Once this is known the message can be better tailored to audience interests and priorities. A customized approach always makes your communications more engaging.
4. Create a timeline. Create a timeline for when each stage of your campaign will be completed and how long each stage should take to complete. This will give you the time needed to make sure everything is orchestrated for maximum effectiveness.
5. Practice. The greats didn’t become great by not practicing. Needless to say, the path to success in media interviews is practice. You need to be so familiar with your narrative that it can be delivered with ease in any interview setting. Pre-interview media relations briefings to help to prepare for a media interview.
6. Track results. Once you have successfully carried out your campaign, follow up and monitor your progress. Make note of what worked and what could be improved. Take these notes into account for your next interview.
Follow these six steps to guarantee seamless correspondence with the media!
Bulletproof is a communications agency that provides media training services and constructive media strategies to help companies and organizations achieve communication objectives and advance business goals. Its team is well versed in understanding the in’s and out’s of media. They also understand the importance of the use of media relations tools and techniques in order to achieve the desired outcome.
Bulletproof’s founder, Tara McCarthy has 20 years of experience helping blue-chip, global companies achieve communications objectives. She has built a reputation for herself and her company as public relations and media training experts. Tara’scarefully curated a team of strategists, trainers, and journalists to develop effective strategies and train clients to effectively communicate them
Bulletproof offers French media training, in addition to English media training services. Free consultations are available through the contact form at www.bebulletproof.com